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Author Topic: ColorThink Pro is too expensive for me. What to consider otherwise?  (Read 503 times)

maximilian59

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Hello,
I am starting with digging deeper into color management. In two weeks I will make my own profiles with an i1 Pro 2. That is a big investment. So the next one has to wait.
It does not matter whether it is for Windows or Mac as I have both.
Do you have any advice, how to start?

Maximilian
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: ColorThink Pro is too expensive for me. What to consider otherwise?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2018, 05:41:08 PM »

The learning curve is steep but you cannot beat the price of ArgyllCMS (it's free!!):  http://www.argyllcms.com/index.html  A very good first tutorial on profile building is here:  https://www.ludd.ltu.se/~torger/photography/argyll-print.html#toc0  You just substitute the i1 for the ColorMunki in the commands.  I've been using this software for the past eight years and I get very good profiles and I have the ability to customize them depending on how they will be used.
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Wayne Fox

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Re: ColorThink Pro is too expensive for me. What to consider otherwise?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2018, 05:57:58 PM »

Hello,
I am starting with digging deeper into color management. In two weeks I will make my own profiles with an i1 Pro 2. That is a big investment. So the next one has to wait.
It does not matter whether it is for Windows or Mac as I have both.
Do you have any advice, how to start?

Maximilian

When you say digging deeper, I guess I’m not sure what you mean.  Most trying to use color management to improve their workflow and output manage just fine without ColorthinkPro.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: ColorThink Pro is too expensive for me. What to consider otherwise?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2018, 05:58:23 PM »

Hello,
I am starting with digging deeper into color management. In two weeks I will make my own profiles with an i1 Pro 2. That is a big investment. So the next one has to wait.
It does not matter whether it is for Windows or Mac as I have both.
Do you have any advice, how to start?

Maximilian

You say you have an i1Pro 2 (or will have one). Does/will that come with X-Rite's i1Profiler software or only the device? It's impossible to give you serious advice without knowing exactly what you are starting with and what it is you wish to accomplish with your deeper dig into colour management. What are your objectives?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Doug Gray

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Re: ColorThink Pro is too expensive for me. What to consider otherwise?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2018, 06:28:05 PM »

I own I1Pro 2, I1Profiler, an Isis XL 2, PM5, and ColorThink Pro. I also have Argyll installed in a VM and Matlab "Home" in my main machine.

I agree with the points made by others in this thread.

I've found I rarely use ColorThink Pro anymore. For analysis and exploring questions of profile quality I almost entirely use Matlab and the image toolbox.

I generally make profiles and other test charts with I1Profiler though Argyll is very good. I would use Argyll primarily and only use I1Profiler to get CGATs files except that I1Profiler has slightly better performance on 9800 neutrals. But they are quite close. I1Profiler's perceptual table is fairly useable too. Argyll requires some work to create Perceptual tables that are different from RelCol. By default, Perceptual is the same as RelCol. However, you can customize Perc. and will have a lot more flexibility with Argyll if you want to experiment with different Perceptual table mapping.

I also use only Argyll for profiling my scanner. It's easy to add a lot more patches with a printer chart and make much better profiles for scanning prints. It's just as good as I1Profiler for standard IT8 charts.

ColorThink Pro does make some pretty 3D plots though and they are quite good looking. For large data sets, and fast calculations Matlab runs rings around it. OTOH, you have to be comfortable with scripting to get much out of Matlab while ColorThink Pro provides s more intuitive GUI. Argyll is powerful and there are a lot of utility programs that generate cool things, plots, conversions to txt to load into Excel and such. If you intend to go deep into understanding color management I'd start with Argyll. You can go back and forth with I1Profiler since they can both read CGATs files. You can make charts with one and process them with the other.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: ColorThink Pro is too expensive for me. What to consider otherwise?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2018, 08:21:59 PM »

Maximilian, I would add to my first reply also that before giving you any advice it would be good to know how comfortable you are or intend to become with command line computer instructions and Matlab. Both are options but not necessarily ideal depending on your comfort level and what you want and need to deal with. As I mentioned, relevant advice depends on knowing a lot more about what you wish to achieve, what your comfort level is with esoteric applications and what learning curves you think you can or would like to handle. There are numerous options.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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digitaldog

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Re: ColorThink Pro is too expensive for me. What to consider otherwise?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2018, 08:28:45 PM »

When you say digging deeper, I guess I’m not sure what you mean.
+1. What are the goals?
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Andrew Rodney
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maximilian59

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Re: ColorThink Pro is too expensive for me. What to consider otherwise?
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2018, 03:24:36 PM »

Hello,
first of all, I have to say thank you for all your answers. Next I try to answer your questions.
1. I ordered the X-Rite i1 Photo Pro 2 package.
2. My workflow is already color managed: Camera 5D Mk II only shooting in Raw format, Software Photoshop and Lightroom, display Eizo CX271 with X-Rite i1 Display Pro, printer Canon Pro-1000 using Hahnemühle and Moab papers with their profiles (but not happy with them)
3. Have read Jeff Schweres book about printing and also Rodney's book about color management and many other articles on the net and here in the LuLa forum.
4. Now I want to start to make my own profiles. I already bought two custom made profiles. But it is expensive to get good profiles.
5. No. I am not afraid of working on the command line. The problem understanding  what to with all the parameters. It is not much worse than a bad GUI.
Hope this answers some of your questions.
I come from the analog time where I developed the films by myself and made my first prints in the bath room of my parents. Later I had a small room in the cellar of the house.
After years without making my own prints I decided last year to start again and bought my photo printer. Now I know that there is a lot to learn about printing and even more to practice. But it was the same in the dark room.
As with all things you can start the wrong way. This is the reason I am here on LuLa. I thought it might be more interesting to know what to do and not only rely on the outcome of the profiling software.
I was and I am a fan of the tools, which do their job good and don't like tools, which do everything but nothing well. So yes, I am aware that there is a learning curve. But as we say in Germany "before the joy there is the work".
Best wishes from the hottest summer ever here,
Maximilian
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Mark D Segal

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Re: ColorThink Pro is too expensive for me. What to consider otherwise?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2018, 03:47:27 PM »

Hello,
first of all, I have to say thank you for all your answers. Next I try to answer your questions.
1. I ordered the X-Rite i1 Photo Pro 2 package.
2. My workflow is already color managed: Camera 5D Mk II only shooting in Raw format, Software Photoshop and Lightroom, display Eizo CX271 with X-Rite i1 Display Pro, printer Canon Pro-1000 using Hahnemühle and Moab papers with their profiles (but not happy with them)
3. Have read Jeff Schweres book about printing and also Rodney's book about color management and many other articles on the net and here in the LuLa forum.
4. Now I want to start to make my own profiles. I already bought two custom made profiles. But it is expensive to get good profiles.
5. No. I am not afraid of working on the command line. The problem understanding  what to with all the parameters. It is not much worse than a bad GUI.
Hope this answers some of your questions.
I come from the analog time where I developed the films by myself and made my first prints in the bath room of my parents. Later I had a small room in the cellar of the house.
After years without making my own prints I decided last year to start again and bought my photo printer. Now I know that there is a lot to learn about printing and even more to practice. But it was the same in the dark room.
As with all things you can start the wrong way. This is the reason I am here on LuLa. I thought it might be more interesting to know what to do and not only rely on the outcome of the profiling software.
I was and I am a fan of the tools, which do their job good and don't like tools, which do everything but nothing well. So yes, I am aware that there is a learning curve. But as we say in Germany "before the joy there is the work".
Best wishes from the hottest summer ever here,
Maximilian

Very helpful information. The good news is that with what you have you do not need Argyll, nor Matlab, nor ColorThink Pro. Your X-Rite i1Profiler package has all you need to make fine profiles. The bad news is that no manual for using i1Profiler exists. One learns it "by word of mouth" or reading stuff here and there. If you do not know this software and would like some initial guidance on using it to make your custom profiles, send me an email and I'll revert to you with some brief instructions to make sure you have the basics correct.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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digitaldog

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Re: ColorThink Pro is too expensive for me. What to consider otherwise?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2018, 04:00:13 PM »

Hello,
first of all, I have to say thank you for all your answers. Next I try to answer your questions.
1. I ordered the X-Rite i1 Photo Pro 2 package.
2. My workflow is already color managed: Camera 5D Mk II only shooting in Raw format, Software Photoshop and Lightroom, display Eizo CX271 with X-Rite i1 Display Pro, printer Canon Pro-1000 using Hahnemühle and Moab papers with their profiles (but not happy with them)
3. Have read Jeff Schweres book about printing and also Rodney's book about color management and many other articles on the net and here in the LuLa forum.
4. Now I want to start to make my own profiles. I already bought two custom made profiles. But it is expensive to get good profiles.
5. No. I am not afraid of working on the command line. The problem understanding  what to with all the parameters. It is not much worse than a bad GUI.
Hope this answers some of your questions.
I come from the analog time where I developed the films by myself and made my first prints in the bath room of my parents. Later I had a small room in the cellar of the house.
After years without making my own prints I decided last year to start again and bought my photo printer. Now I know that there is a lot to learn about printing and even more to practice. But it was the same in the dark room.
As with all things you can start the wrong way. This is the reason I am here on LuLa. I thought it might be more interesting to know what to do and not only rely on the outcome of the profiling software.
I was and I am a fan of the tools, which do their job good and don't like tools, which do everything but nothing well. So yes, I am aware that there is a learning curve. But as we say in Germany "before the joy there is the work".
Best wishes from the hottest summer ever here,
Maximilian
I don't see the need for ColorThink Pro or similar. There's not much in i1P you need to futz with to make RGB output profiles and in some cases, the limited options do little if anything and when they do, you only see that result using the Perceptual tables of your profiles.
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers"

Mark D Segal

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Re: ColorThink Pro is too expensive for me. What to consider otherwise?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2018, 04:28:21 PM »

Andrew - this is an aside - have you played with i1P version 1.8 yet? I just downloaded it (was previously on 1.7.2) but haven't tested this newest version yet. Based on X-Rite's statement of the changes and fixes I don't see anything that should affect standard profile-making, and I also see they have still failed to fix a very simple, but annoying, bug I brought to their attention a year or so ago and they admitted they could replicate. Sloppy management.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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digitaldog

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Re: ColorThink Pro is too expensive for me. What to consider otherwise?
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2018, 04:30:11 PM »

Yes, it seems to work, no bugs that didn't allow me to build a profile.
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Andrew Rodney
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Mark D Segal

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Re: ColorThink Pro is too expensive for me. What to consider otherwise?
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2018, 04:34:42 PM »

Re-assuring. Thanks.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Rhossydd

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Re: ColorThink Pro is too expensive for me. What to consider otherwise?
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2018, 05:54:40 PM »

As others have said; i1Profiler really needs little extra messing around with. Stick with the defaults and you'll get good profiles. You can try using different number of patches, as most new users try, but when just looking at actual results you'll be lucky to see much difference.

With respect to a lower priced 'Colorthink Pro'; have a look at Gamutvision http://www.gamutvision.com/ when it was sold there wasn't much Colorthink could do that Gamutvision couldn't. Now it's free it's a 'must have' fantastic tool for a colour geek on the Windows platform.
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maximilian59

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Re: ColorThink Pro is too expensive for me. What to consider otherwise?
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2018, 03:58:56 PM »

Many thanks for all your answers.
Now I am waiting for my new tool. I will do some tests to get used to it.
MarK, I think I will come back to your offer. But for the time I love the hot season here and the one or other glass of wine.
Rhossydd, with gamutvision I think all I need to know is covered.
Now learning and training has to start.
Maximilian
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